my secret distraction

Friday 18 September 2015

trawling through some image folders, came across these photographs of the three postcards i made for rca secret 2015.

i made the effort to photograph them at the time, and now i am wondering whatever happened to the postcards. my secret distraction.

did they sell and raise some cash for my old college? i think maybe not, and they have since been resigned to the skip of art. the rca have previously stated few remain unsold after the exhibition [so there are some]. unsold cards are not returned to the artists.

rca-secret-postcards-369-2015

[three secret postcards 2015]

thinking about my cards, wherever they may be: the first three are numerals [3, 6, 9] based on wooden printing blocks, although i flipped the original design. i was influenced by metal signage at the time.

rca secret is all numbers: numbered cards on display, long queues, a secret raffle to select the first fifty buyers through the door, selling cards and raising a lot of money for student fees. then after the sale, matching names with numbers, or numbers to names. my postcard numbers [as discovered on the rca website]: 1724, 1875, 2098.

the number three: everywhere, nearly every day: on a door, in tiny details in photographs, pondering on the red ’33’ painted on the backrest of my vintage swivel draughtsman’s chair, which was rescued from a skip at the college where i used to work – as this seemed significant – and two threes made six, another red three, and that made nine… i was looking out for three numbers. 1-2-3 may have been a simpler combination, but there was something quite cheery about the rounded shape of the figure nine, and it looked like a lowercase little ‘g’.

the number 33 studio chair has since lost any sense of swivel, so maybe the college skip was the best place for it after all. nevertheless, it’s a moderately pleasing piece of vintage furniture, with black tubular steel legs and a curved, ergonomic wooden seat [with some surprising graffiti], and it’s naturally in a design partnership with my parallel-motion drawing board [that i acquired for free in exchange for a small collage]. there is less need for this type of design studio equipment with computer-aided design, i guess. but i digress… it’s just a ‘high’ chair [but chairs can be lethal, as i discovered while casually reading the times newspaper the other day]

rca-secret-postcards-369-cutout-collage-2015

[secret postcard to dubai]

for the fourth postcard, for the rca’s newest fund-raising venture, rca secret dubai, i reclaimed [re-used] the off-cut pieces from the number cards to make a new collaged piece with a more pronounced 3d appearance. the assembled curves and overlapping shapes also appeared to evoke a middle-eastern aesthetic.

my secret postcard to dubai, where some millionaires reside, where the world’s most ambitious buildings are being constructed, where everything looks expensive, shiny, and new… and i was reconfiguring various cut-out scraps of already recycled card into a new mini-artwork for an international fund-raising art event in dubai. seems fair.

rca secret: supporting the next generation of fine artists in their post-graduate studies.

6 thoughts on... my secret distraction

  1. Jazz

    can’t resist commenting on my own blog.

    i quite like playing with words & doodling with anagrams [and trying to write poetry, but that’s another story]

    the other day, i had a go at the times cryptic crossword [supposedly the most difficult crossword in the entire world], but i didn’t get that far. only solved six clues, then i gave up. the exercise felt like the mental equivalent of taking the stairs …in a high-rise building. with bags of shopping. possibly in dubai.

    i do worry about my mental health sometimes.

    i used to be quite good at cryptic crosswords [well, the one in the daily telegraph – which is not a reflection of my political leanings]

    nevertheless, it’s still a relaxing and pleasantly distracting armchair/sofa activity on autumn evenings.

    i just don’t see how chairs & sitting down can be lethal, when it has been suggested by some scientists that doing puzzles & crosswords can [in theory?] extend one’s life.

    i may need to research the research on this…

  2. Jazz

    rca secret is heavily promoted in the media on the famous artists who have secretly contributed [it’s a good hook] and the value of those works [trophies] among the ‘unknowns’. the long queues, many camping out overnight to be at the front, reflect this conspicuous desire – curiously similar to the buying frenzy after the launch of a new Apple product.

    with 3000 postcards on display in the 2015 exhibition, it must have been a challenge to find the real ‘stars’ – but buyers could browse all the cards on the website, making a note of the numbers.

    some of the postcards are sardonic responses to this miniature art world.

    can’t see on the website the selling price of the postcards, but i think that this year it was raised to £55.

  3. Jazz

    in this regard, there is some social ‘cachet’ in acquiring an artwork by a famous artist for comparatively little money.

    some postcards are later resold on ebay [maybe intentionally bought for that purpose?]

  4. Jazz

    each year i have contributed to ‘rca secret’ i get a special invitation to the private view, but it’s strictly ‘admits one only’ and the train fare is quite a lot of money to be one of a crowd.

    must be a great evening, all the same.

  5. Monica Danielsson

    I must thank you for shareing all your fantastic exprimental artwork! I have been following your site for some years now, and it’s always exciting and a source of inspiration to see and read. I am a exprimental artist myself, and like to study different materials. I’m from Sweden, but lives in Norway.
    Have a nice day! MoNica

  6. Jazz

    thank you, much appreciated. not sure it’s that ‘fantastic’, just an opportunity to try something out, with the ‘abstract’ collaged piece evolving out of the cutout numerals.

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